# Income tax and church tax
Who pays income tax? Employers deduct income tax directly from their employees’ salaries and pass it on to the tax office. The amount paid is calculated based on taxable income. Church tax is a tax collected by religious communities from their members. The amount paid is based on the amount of income tax paid.To Services
Information about Rights & Duties
Church tax on final taxed investment income has been automatically withheld since January 1, 2015 and paid to the tax-collecting religious communities. Automatic means that the members of these religious communities do not have to initiate anything in order to meet their church tax obligations in connection with the final withholding tax. In order to prepare for the automatic deduction of church tax on the withholding tax, those liable to deduct church tax (banks, savings banks, etc.) are legally obliged to ask the Federal Central Tax Office (BZSt) the religious affiliation of all customers once a year. The query is carried out regularly from September 1st to October 31st.
For members of a tax-collecting religious community, the BZSt notifies the church tax deductible about the church tax deduction feature (KiStAM). The KiStAM provides information about membership of a tax-collecting religious community and the valid church tax rate. The church tax withholding agents then determine the church tax applicable to the taxpayer on the final withholding tax and pay this to the tax office.
Objection to the transmission of the KiStAM (blocking note):
- If a taxpayer does not want the church tax on final taxed capital income to be levied by the church tax deductor but by the responsible tax office, the transfer of the KiStAM can be objected to (blocking note).
- The blocking notice must be submitted to the BZSt on an officially prescribed form (see links). It is also available in paper form from the information and collection points of the tax offices.
- The blocking notice must be received by the BZSt by June 30th at the latest. In this case, the BZSt blocks the transmission of the KiStAM for the current and all subsequent query periods until further notice. The church tax deductible will then not pay any church tax.
- The BZSt is legally obliged to inform the responsible tax office about the blocking notice. The tax office will then ask you to submit an income tax return.
- As the procedure is handled by the BZSt and not by the tax offices, the BZSt tax information center is available as a central point of contact for further questions. It can be reached by phone on 0228/406 1240.
Further information can be found on the link to the BZSt.
If you wish to obtain relief from German withholding tax, you may apply under certain conditions.
If you are subject to limited tax liability, you can apply for an assessment for income tax or corporation tax under certain conditions.
You can report the conclusion of foreign endowment or pension insurance contracts electronically.
If you wish to waive the certification of a pension or basic pension contract for the future, you can declare a corresponding waiver.
If you wish to market tax-incentivised old-age provision or basic pension contracts, you must first apply for certification for these and have this granted by the certification body - the Federal Central Tax Office (BZSt).
If you reimburse services from service providers living abroad, you may have to withhold, declare and pay income tax on them in certain circumstances.